Posts Tagged ‘Mosquito Nets’

Me and My Net Winner’s Week, 10-15 March 2012

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Me and My Net Wrap-up Event
Me and My Net Wrap-up Event: l-r Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Royal Commonwealth Society; Siya Kulkarni, Winner Me and My Net 2011; Adam Flynn, Sumitomo Chemical, in front of some of the entries

Fifteen year old Siya Kulkarni, from India, was in London for Commonwealth Week 2012, as her prize as the Winner of Me and My Net 2011, supported by Sumitomo Chemical’s Olyset Net.

During the week, Siya represented her country by carrying the Indian flag at the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey.  She also visited Malaria No More UK, to find out about their malaria awareness campaigns, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to see the insectaries and hear about the scientific work around malaria prevention.  With thanks to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, Siya also had the opportunity to tour the Houses of Parliament and witness Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons.

Siya presented her winning campaign to the Commonwealth Nurses Conference, which was attended by nearly 200 delegates from 27 Commonwealth countries.  She also presented at a Me and My Net reception for the malaria community in London.  She said: “Although I come from India I was very ignorant about the impact that malaria has upon people in affected areas and was shocked by the scale of the problem. I was also struck by how easy it is to protect people with a net as opposed to using sprays or drugs. It is such a simple solution and yet, as a young person, I also know that we do not like being told what to do. I knew that my campaign had to find incentives for young people as a way to engage with them and encourage them to use their nets.

“I decided to split my Kids for Nets campaign to appeal to two age groups and used rhymes and the idea of decorating their nets to engage the 4-10 year-olds; whilst I wanted to show the young adult 11-15 year-olds that their future health and, therefore, their dreams for their future could be threatened.”

The Commonwealth Nurses Federation made a donation to Siya, which will be used to purchase Olyset Nets for distribution in Tanzania.

See Siya’s winning entry, and other award winners, at www.meandmy.net/winners.

Read International on Me and My Net

Friday, October 28th, 2011

During a volunteering trip to Tanzania with READ International I was part of a team which distributed books to schools. We also renovated a library at Kilakala Secondary School; an all girl’s boarding school in. We were pleased to see that each student had been provided with their own mosquito net to cover their bed.  During the renovation we asked the girls to take part in the competition and they were very enthusiastic about the opportunity.  We found out that the School had a Malaria Club, so we sat down with the student members and, although they were shy at first, they soon became more confident and a few days later the word of the competition had spread around the School and entries flooded in from all age groups. We received entries that were really informative and in some cases shocking.  The young girls have experienced malaria first hand and write about it so casually that reading about the reality of it was upsetting. The essays showed their knowledge of Malaria, including statistics and data, showing the success of the Malaria Club.  Some of the entries included drawings and animations which the students enjoyed producing.  They loved having a chance to draw and express themselves in a way that they usually do not have the opportunity to do.  The students put so much effort into the competition and presented their entries proudly with beautiful handwriting; this was a testament to their commitment and dedication to their studies.  Overall, the content was well written and I enjoyed having a chance to read some of the students’ work and see the quality of their English writing.  For us at READ the competition allowed us to be more involved with the students and gave us an insight into their abilities. The students had a great knowledge of Malaria which taught me a thing or two!

The competition touches on a really important issue in Africa and giving the students an opportunity to write about it helped them to remember the importance of prevention.

 

My Malaria Story

Monday, October 10th, 2011

When the Me and My Net team went to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam for Malaria Youth Summits earlier this year we asked all the young people attending to tell us their Malaria Story.

We collected stories from ninety participants, each telling us how malaria has affected them. Some of recount when they had malaria themselves, others talk about when members of their families were suffering, others when they learnt about Malaria at school. The stories highlight the importance of bed nets. Many of those with memories of suffering with malaria were not using them at the time, or had old nets with holes in them.

Below are just two examples…

“I have a cousin, who is very young, her age is 4 years old, she lives with her mother who doesn’t care about the importance of sleeping under a mosquito net. She believes that, there are no mosquitoes to bite them. One day, I don’t remember the exact date, but I think it was in January, the girl woke up in the morning, she felt every part of her body aching, then she felt very wide as if she was in a bridge or near a mountain. Because of her youngness she started crying because of the different which appeared on her body. Then her mother realised that there were something different in her baby’s body – she touched her baby’s body, her temperature was very high, then what she did, she took her to the hospital, but it was too late, the baby’s eyes started to change, they became very yellow, the mother got into a fear, she knew that her baby is dying. She rushed to the hospital and the baby was in a critical condition, then the doctors checked the baby, and they found that she has malaria and her condition was very bad. After the check up, the baby was unconscious for a long time and after she woke up, she was given medicine, then she felt better. The doctors gave some advice to the mother about the use of mosquito nets. Since that day my cousin and the whole family are always sleeping under the net. “

Zainab, age 11

“It’s so cold. No one talks, walk or shouting. The village was so quiet. Everybody at the village took themselves in  heir homes. In that village there was a girl, her name was Wande. Her tribe was a sukuma. She was so beautiful, charming, respectful in fact she was a very good girl. One day when my mother sent me to my uncle, I hear a voice and when I listen it carefully, I hear my friends name, her name is Wande. She was aging, weak in fact she was weak and suffer. No body in the house was there. The house was so silent. The voice which you can hear is only  Wande’s voice. Her mother travelled to Arusha because there was her sister’s wedding. When I enter to their house I saw Wande crying. When I told her to take her to the hospital she refused because in their tribe has the tribalism. When I convince her, she refuse again. When I tried to convince her, the door was knocked. I went then I open the door. When I open I saw her brother Maganga. Manganga was the first born in their family. He went to London for education. When he enter in, he saw his sister Wande crying and he asked her ‘what’s wrong?’ she required ‘ I have a fever’ M: ‘how do you tell?’ W: ‘my head aches, my stomach hurts too.’ M: ‘nothing else?’ W: ‘I have been vomiting since yesterday.’ M: ‘so did you go to the hospital?’ W: ‘I go to the witch doctor and he give me a natural medicine muarobaini. I drunk it but there’s no solution’. M: ‘come and I will take you to the hospital’. W: ‘no, out tribalism doesn’t want us to go to the hospital. Our god will never forgive us.’ W & M; ‘No’ they shouted for one house and then Wande agreed to go to the hospital. The doctor gave then the mseto medicine and Wande starts to use it. For a week, Wande was so strong and she start using the Olyset net. Now she is strong.”

Miriana, age 13

The stories have been entered into the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Jubilee Time Capsule – the world’s biggest online time capsule. The Jubilee Time Capsule is collecting people’s stories and memories since 6th February 1952 (when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne) to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and sixty years as the Head of the Commonwealth. The Me and My Net entries will join 22,000 other entries – one for each day of HM The Queen’s reign - to tell the story of the modern Commonwealth. Find out more and share your own malaria story at www.jubileetimecapsule.org.

Click here to see all the Me and My Net entries in the capsule.

Spotlight on AMREF

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

AMREF

AMREF is Africa’s leading health charity, whose vision is lasting health change in Africa. They were founded in 1957 as the Flying Doctors Service of East Africa. They work across Africa, with major programmes in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa, and expanding outreach into West Africa. One of AMREF’s main priorities is Malaria, and the treatment, prevention and education on malaria-related illnesses and deaths.

Snapshot on a project: Afar, Ethiopia

Afar is particularly prone to malaria, yet it only has two clinics to serve a population of 1.3 million people. Many are unaware of how to protect themselves against the disease and commonly available drugs have become less effective as people have grown resistant to them. AMREF works with the health system at all levels to:

  • Increase the use of mosquito nets by pregnant women and young children
  • Improve the quality of testing being carried out to diagnose malaria
  • Develop systems that allow people to treat malaria with effective drugs in the home
  • Educate communities about how to control the spread of malaria

Key achievements

  • 99,000 mosquito nets have been distributed to pregnant women and young children in 11 districts – 99% of households in the project area have received two nets each
  • Communities in these districts have been trained how to use their new mosquito nets and shown how they can help prevent malaria
  • AMREF has trained 300 “mother coordinators” to help families protect themselves from malaria in their own homes. The project has expanded to cover new districts, protecting more vulnerable communities from malaria. 

Have a look at the below blog post for one women’s story of AMREF helped her.

To find out more about AMREF and the work they do visit their website – www.amrefuk.org.

HASENA’S EXPERIENCE OF MALARIA IN ETHIOPIA

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

“My twin daughters died when they were only two years old. I didn’t know what was wrong with them, they were both very ill and I was weak with a fever,” says Hasena, a member of the nomadic Afar people of southeast Ethiopia. 

“I carried them for two days to the nearest health centre, walking as fast as I could. It was hot and dry and my babies just kept getting worse. When I was a few hours away from the health centre they both stopped crying. When I arrived, the nurse told me that it was too late to treat their malaria.”

Hasena lives in Kodae village in the remote desert region of Afar, 40 miles from the nearest health centre. There is no electricity, no health centre or school, and the only water available is the nearby Awash River. Sadly, her story is not uncommon.

It is one of many villages in Afar that benefited from the distribution of 90,000 mosquito nets by AMREF.

 AMREF delivered as many as we could by vehicle and then used convoys of donkeys to reach the most remote communities. When the nets arrived in Kodae, trained village health workers delivered the nets to people’s doors, explaining their importance and how they should be used.

Hasena was one of the many women who received two mosquito nets. She explains: “Now that I have the nets I am going to use one inside the house for my husband, myself and the two youngest children and the rest will sleep under the other net outside. If I stick with this routine I am confident that none of my children will get malaria again.”

AMREF also trained 300 village health workers to diagnose and treat malaria and pass this knowledge on to community members.

“Now, we are far more hopeful about the future,” says Hasena. “Armed with our mosquito nets and our knowledge, we hope that we can stop our children dying from this horrible disease.”

To find out more about AMREF and the work they do visit their website – www.amrefuk.org.

Malaria Fact 06

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

After Ethiopia started giving out nets for free in 2004, the number of reported cases of malaria more than halved in just four years.

Malaria Youth Summit: Nairobi

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

On Wednesday 14th July the Me and My Net team held a Malaria Youth Summit in Nairobi.

The Summit took place at Malezi School and involved 30 young students (aged 11-14). They debated the challenges of Malaria and were given the chance to respond creatively, by designing a bed net awareness campaign aimed at their peers.

Students came up with this Communiqué and presented it to attending Commonwealth High Commissioners, malaria and education NGO representatives and malaria health experts. Comment below to let us know what you think!

If you’d like to have your say in the global fight against malaria, be sure to enter the Me and My Net competition. Click here for all the info.

Guest Post from Against Malaria

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Targeted Distribution or Universal Coverage?

It is often difficult to decide where nets go when the need for nets far exceeds the quantity we can fund.

Should 20,000 nets go to one country or 10,000 each to two countries? The dilemma is the same whatever the number of nets involved. Some people somewhere will remain unprotected from malaria whatever the decision.

The choice is particularly stark when deciding whether to focus on those most at risk from malaria—children under five years old and pregnant women—or instead to achieve universal coverage, which means every sleeping space is covered in a (smaller) area.

A real example: There are 500 nets in total available for five villages. Each village contains 1,000 people, among whom are 100 pregnant women and children under five. Do you protect all the under fives and pregnant women in all five villages or blanket cover one village, given two people sleep under each net?

Each method has its benefits.

The logic of protecting the most vulnerable is obvious: those most likely to contract malaria due to a less well-developed immune system (under fives) or weakened immune system (pregnant women) should be protected first. Their need is greatest and so they deserve our attention first.

The argument for universal coverage centres on the ‘mass-effect’ that occurs when 60% or more of sleeping spaces in a given area are covered. In such a circumstance, malaria rates fall dramatically because the pregnant female malaria-carrying mosquito population is denied its nightly blood meal. If these mosquitoes do not feed for 10-12 days they cannot reproduce. Fewer mosquitoes means fewer ways to get infected, which reduces the spread of malaria among net-users and non-net-users alike (see related links).

The advantages of universal coverage come not only from preventing the pregnant female mosquito feeding, but also from the involvement and engagement of an entire community in malaria prevention. It can have a dramatic effect with malaria case rates falling precipitously.

There is no one answer.

In recent years, the move has been to universal coverage given the often dramatic effect on an entire community. The intention, using the example above, would then be to come back to the other villages as soon as possible and universally protect them too. While there are not enough funds for nets this is not always possible. In the meantime, difficult choices remain.

This article was initially posted on the Against Malaria blog in January.

Against Malaria is a charity dedicated to empowering ordinary citizens to take responsibility for eradicating Malaria. You can find out more about them and their work here.

Mosquito Nets & Malaria with Adam Flynn at Olyset Net

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Adam Flynn is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Sumitomo Chemical, (Vector Control Division) a multinational company responsible for Olyset Net, an award-winning mosquito net. We caught up with him earlier this year to talk about his work with mosquito nets and their importance in the fight against malaria.

Working for a company that produces mosquito nets, you must be quite the expert. What makes a mosquito net special?
I know a thing or two, expert on nets thought I certainly am not ! Nets as most people know have actually been around for decades and traditional non insecticidal nets didn’t change much until the last ten years or so, when new technologies came onto the market and a new category of nets (Long Lasting Insecticide Nets) were born and really spearheaded the push for malaria prevention we have seen over the last 5 to 8 years.

Therein lies one of the great things about being involved in nets and malaria prevention at large at the moment, there are new technologies coming into play after so long, yet because most nets are donor funded, net manufacturers have to be innovative to meet the market and financial demands. That said, as I alluded to earlier perhaps the best thing about being involved in malaria prevention at the moment is looking back at the great strides that have been made over the last 5 years in net distribution, net education and ultimately malaria cases.

Nets are often described as the best form of malaria prevention. Why is this?

Quite simply they are the most cost effective form of malaria prevention, most nets cost less than $5 USD (in the donor and private markets for that matter) and most nets in the donor market provide at least 3 years protection.

How important do you think it is that nets are manufactured in the areas where malaria is most prevalent?

Very good question indeed. We at Sumitomo have been long term advocates of local manufacture, for a variety of reasons:

- Malaria is often termed a disease of poverty, therefore if economic development can be engendered by way of net manufacture then there is a double pay off of health and economic development and a sustainable model for malaria prevention can be found.

- Net manufacture can bring whole communities together around a health commodity and as we have seen in our own ventures this means that communities can be made very well aware of the benefits of net use.

- Having manufacturing capacity of nets where the nets are needed most means that a ready supply is always on hand. We have factories all over the world and we realise the value of cutting out long delivery times especially when dealing with life saving commodities.

- Most countries across the endemic world have a textile history some of which are very rich, so the skills are there to manufacture nets, so we see no reason why these local communities shouldn’t manufacture nets.

What are companies such as Sumitomo Chemical doing to help in the global fight against malaria?

The private sector contributes greatly to the global fight against malaria. Perhaps the main component of our support is to develop and manufacture new prevention tools, medicines and vaccines at invariably near to or no profit levels.

The private sector has a significant hand in the timely distribution of nets and drugs too.

The malaria community is now looking to industry primarily to look for solutions to insecticide and drug resistance too.

Finally as previously mentioned the private sector is in the unique position to initiate and encourage local employment through drug or net manufacture too.

What advice do you have for young people as risk from malaria?

Please use a net!

If you’d like to have your say in the global fight against malaria, be sure to enter the Me and My Net competition. Click here for all the info.